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Beans is 8 weeks old. This weekend we need to start to leave him at home.. But I'm fearful of seperation anxiety. He sleeps through the night in his crate.. and doesn't mind it.. However, when we're at work, I don't want him confined to his crate for hours at a time when he's awake. Would a play pen be okay?

I've also been told to build up to leaving. Start with 30seconds and give him a phrase everytime you leave. ie."guard the house". Then to build up to 2 minutes, 5 minutes, 15 minutes, 30 minutes, 2 hours.. then switch the times up. I also know to wait until hes calm when I re-enter to praise him.

Is this all correct information? Is there anything more I can do? Or anything better?
 

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I don't think he's going to be a big dog, so I personally think a play pen would be fine. I had a friend with a Boston Terrior that used a play pen whilst she was at work and it worked fine.
The only things I would suggest would be to give him things to keep him occupied, like a filled kong, bully stick or a big raw bone. I also like to leave the radio or telly going, just as a background noise.
And, it sounds like you already know this, but don't make a fuss of him when you leave. And, don't forget, plenty of exercise before and after.
 

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However, when we're at work, I don't want him confined to his crate for hours at a time when he's awake. Would a play pen be okay?
Play pen will be ok. I think its a little overkill, but ok if thats what you want to use.

I've also been told to build up to leaving. Start with 30seconds and give him a phrase everytime you leave. ie."guard the house". Then to build up to 2 minutes, 5 minutes, 15 minutes, 30 minutes, 2 hours.. then switch the times up.
Again, overkill. Very few dogs will need something like this. If he is not showing any signs of SA, don't worry about it. Here are some rules to follow to minimize the chances of SA.
1. Don't make a big deal out of leaving. If you make a big deal out of it, it becomes a big deal. Just pick up your keys and go. If you want to say, "good bye" or "Bye, I'll be back soon". Say these in neutral tones and not babytalk and not emotionally.
2. When you come back, don't make a big deal out of it. Walk in, put your stuff away, change clothes if needed ... THEN let the dog out. No big emotional greetings. Just let the dog out and go about your business. You can play with him later.

Coming and going are a natural part of life. The sooner your pup sees this the easier he will accept it. Most people don't have the time to do the 5 minute, 10 minute thing and I'm not sure it does any good anyway. I only suggest using that when you already have an SA dog. Believe me, an 8 week old puppy probably won't even notice you are going and coming if you don't make a big deal out of it.
 

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Okay, so you think crating would be okay, rather than a playpen?

Also, by the 3rd night or crate training he doesnt whine AT ALL anymore, except a few whimpers when he needs to pee. However, when he's awake.. whenever we're not in sight or dont give him attention he whines and whines and whines. We try not to coddle him, but it's tough. Do you think we would be fine just leaving him for a few hours at a time?
 

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Okay, so you think crating would be okay, rather than a playpen?
Many people leave their dog it a crate all day. Usually the dog just sleeps. Remember this is a temporary thing. Once the pup is completely house trained and isn't destructive, there is no reason not to let him have the run of the house while you aren't there. My dogs have always had the run of the house.

Also, by the 3rd night or crate training he doesnt whine AT ALL anymore, except a few whimpers when he needs to pee. However, when he's awake.. whenever we're not in sight or dont give him attention he whines and whines and whines.
You don't want him to learn what he has to do to get your attention (whine). Once he sees that whining doesn't get attention, it will stop.

Do you think we would be fine just leaving him for a few hours at a time?
Yes
 

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Every time I ever leave the house for any amount of time, I have always just told the dogs in the house, 'See you later, take care of the house, you know what to do.' I leave and they are fine, when I come back they are the same.
Now, I made that a routine with every dog that I have ever had, especially the 2 boys I have now. That way (for me anyway) by saying it out loud, I have given them a command to watch the house, but I am also saying it to anyone that might be lurking around within ear shot that there are two BIG dogs that WILL eat them if they try to get in the house!! Or at least thats what that was for before I moved to BFE nowhere. :biggrin:
It just makes me feel better and its what they are used to now.

As for the play pen, I don't see where it will hurt, but I don't think its nessicary. I think that it would be more for your comfort then the puppies because, like RFD said, he will be asleep most of the time. I also agree that if you don't make a deal out of it, it won't be a big deal to the puppy.
Good luck!
 

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i'm not a great believer in giving dogs the run of the house, whether they are destructive or not.

crating is as much for their security as it is for my comfort in case i am gone for longer than they are used to waiting to evacuate their urine or stools...

they have bullysticks to chew on if they don't sleep...and if we're going to be gone, we have food filled kongs for them to work on...

we don't announce our leaving nor our return....we just get the leashes and out we go...they know we're here....but they're not barking their heads off either...
 

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My older dog Seamus loves his crate. Last summer he was really sick, I had to run an IV for several nights at home, getting up every 6 hours to give him injections. Of course at that time he wasn't in a crate, not with the IV tube.

However, when it was bedtime on the day he got his IV out I pointed to his pile of blankets and pillows and told him to go to bed. He just stood there staring at the spot, he wouldn't go to bed until I set up his crate there, he feels really safe in his crate.

I keep him in his crate all day, he's only responsible for guarding his crate. When I leave him in the house, he's restless. I don't know that he ever really sleeps cause he's too busy scanning the neighborhood for miscreants.

I do a lot of traveling for dog agility. Lots of hotel rooms, friends houses, etc. It's pretty vital that he has a place to call his own.

Now his sister Teaghan is becoming the same way, she's loving her crate. Seamus is about 3 yrs old, Teaghan is 3 months old.
This summer when my sister and I go to out of town trials, Seamus is going to have to sleep on the bed instead of in his tent. Between the 2 of us we have 5 dogs, tight in a motel room.:)

Tonight I let him out to a final pee before bed. He barked a few times at some neighbor dogs, so i called him in. I like to treat him at the door when he comes when called, but tonight he didn't stop inside the door, just made a beeline for his crate and bed...:)

When I leave, whether it's the house or the car or the vets or...I say the same phrase. "You be good, I'll be back" in a light voice, but very non-emotional.
 

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I also think the crate would be just fine. One thing to keep in mind is Beans is very little, which could mean he can't help but to have an "accident" while you're at work. Shelby, our little Boston is a mini-cricket, she's 4yrs and weighs a whopping 13lbs. She was about a 1yr before she could consistently not have a little accident. I got to where I would put a towel in her crate, so if she did pee I could wash the towel and spray the crate much easier, and not have to bathe her every day after work.
I know they don't usually go where they sleep; but in her case, and I'm guessing Bean's case they can't help it 'cuz their bladders are so little.
I would worry that a play pen being so much bigger than a crate, he may not "mind" going potty and actually make the potty training process harder on everyone.
Just some things to think about.
 

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i'm not a great believer in giving dogs the run of the house, whether they are destructive or not.

crating is as much for their security as it is for my comfort in case i am gone for longer than they are used to waiting to evacuate their urine or stools..
We have used some crate training on our dog and she tolerates it, but we've not had a problem with her having run of the house (but we don't do that in a thunderstorm as she becomes unpredictable). When we first adopted her she had definite separation anxiety issues which we have mostly worked through over time. At first we couldn't even leave her alone for 30 seconds before she'd start whimpering and barking.

Now when we leave we just say "be good" -- and she recognizes that as meaning we are going away. We have left her alone with run of the house for as much as 6-7 hours with no problems or "accidents". I also like that she can run toward outside noises and bark at doors or windows where something is going "bump" just outside.

At this point we only use the crate when we are traveling with her and the places we stay require that dogs be crated when left unattended.
 
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